Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell, ‘Rockland Outsider’ Candidate for Oak Bay Council, celebrates his 59th birthday Monday, October 24, 2011. First born son of Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull) of Valleyfield, Quebec + Peter George Hartnell of Victoria. Conceived in Mexico, born October 24, 1952, Saint Joseph’s Hospital… baptised ‘Gregory Paul’, confirmed ‘Michael’ by Bishop Hill, Saint Andrew’s Cathedral… HARTNELL-TURNBULL FAMILY HISTORY

SHEILA MARY MARGARET HARTNELL (NEE TURNBULL)

WITH HER FIRST-BORN SON:

GREGORY PAUL MICHAEL HARTNELL (above)

THE HARTNELLS ARE ROCKLAND’S  CATHOLIC OUTSIDERS

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE HARTNELL FAMILY:

‘CATHOLIC OUTSIDERS’ IN ROCKLAND

We were the Rockland Outsider Catholics with our often absent workaholic father Peter George Hartnell, a loving if somewhat formidible obsessive-compulsive genius paterfamilias, a very artistic yet rigourously strict disciplinarian, a cultured Roman Catholic gentleman who was also anti-intellectual.

Peter Hartnell was sometimes an abusive husband to his long-suffering wife, and an unapologetic and consistent Fascist sympathizer throughout his life.

Our father was also an inspired furniture designer-builder – fine joinery carpenter – businessman – and of, course, a furnished-apartment owner-contractor-builder-importer, starting first with the Thunderbird Motel, where I spent the first five years of my life right downtown, at Douglas and Superior streets, and then Michelangelo Apartments at 1158 Yates and Hartnell House Apartments, 1204 Yates (both on the north side, between Fernwood and Cook) and also as a downtown Victoria hotelier (Queen Victoria Inn, 655 Douglas and Victoria Princess on Quebec Street in James Bay).

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SHEILA MARY MARGARET HARTNELL (NEE TURNBULL), R. I. P.

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SHEILA MARY MARGARET TURNBULL

IS SHOWN WITH A GROUP OF FELLOW WORKERS

AT THE MERCK PHARMECEUTICAL FACTORY,

SALLABERRY DE VALLEYFIELD, QUEBEC,

DARK HAIR, LIGHT DRESS, CENTRE, FRONT ROW, SIXTH FROM LEFT

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Our dearly departed Mother, Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull) Peter George Hartnell’s wife, was a warm, loving and somewhat sentimental Roman Catholic stenographer who worked out in darkest Esquimalt  at Naden during the war.

She sang with great joy, pleasure and determination in the Saint Andrew’s Cathedral Choir for almost forty years.

She was also a popular singer of the Old School with a vast repertoire of sentimental old favorites which she would sing with her Lancastrian mother, my dearly departed grandmother, Clara Turnbull, of Coln.

Our mum was a classic Roman Catholic Quebecer Canadian housewife – mother -lover of Lancastrian -Glaswegian background.

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THOMAS TURNBULL, R. I. P.

Her dearly departed father, my late grandfather Thomas Turnbull, a Catholic Scottish Canadian seaman, was born in Glasgow, Ecosse.

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CCC HISTORY: THE CONCERNED CITIZENS STARTED IN A GAUDI-INSPIRED HOUSE

Some of our Rockland neighbours didn’t like this weird Catalan architecture in Rockland at all.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ‘GOYO DE LA ROSA’ (GREGORY HARTNELL)

 PAINTING OF ‘ROSITA THE CALAVERA’

(‘La calavera Rosita’, inspired by Jose Guadalupe Posada),

A MEXICAN WARNING AGAINST VANITY & MATERIALISM

1346 Rockland Avenue, now owned by Peter and Sheila Hartnell’s son John

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We lived in this weird ‘Modernista’ Catalan reinforced concrete house on Rockland Avenue, not far from what we called the ‘guvvy grounds,’ the great garden estate of the Monarchist’s Lieutenant Governor, representing this foreign English Anglican Queen named Elizabeth Windsor, descended from a family of Anglican anti-Catholic killers and bigots that had a nasty history of hunting down and killing practicing Roman Catholic priests and others of our persecuted Old Faith.

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THE YOUNG SCHOLAR:

GREGORY HARTNELL AT SAINTE ANNE’S ACADEMY,

VICTORIA, CIRCA 1957

None of us were  really English monarchists as children,

although there are some old photos showing us waving the Union Jack.

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As an Outsider Catholic Victorian child in the late fifties-early sixties, in this decidedly Anglican – Establishment – Protestant – Imperial – English – Monarchist Victoria I remember, we soon learned to go along with the charades of monarchist mythmaking for the sake of social peace with the majority Protestants in Victoria, but we sure loved that great garden a lot more than whoever supposedly represented Her Royal Majesty just by virtue of living in it…

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With its vast vistas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the mallard ducks in the pond (we did figure eights on the ice in winter), the ever-changing flowers in the extensive and well-kept gardens, the numerous species of trees both indigenous and exotic, the manicured lawns, the wrought-iron fence that borders the northern Rockland Avenue side of the large property, the Late Romantic pseudo – medieval Scottish masonry of the serpentine Lotbiniere stone wall with its Arthurian crenelation, the magic of the Sherwood Forest-like Garry Oak groves on the south side of the Vice-Regal Manse, the forbidding mansion itself (which always seemed in shade on the north entrance side), and of course, our secret stashing places in the bush thickets on the slopes of the Rockland escarpement below it, for our pilfered cans and bottles…

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…  Until one day … I noticed a sign stuck on the stone pillar of the front gate to the magic garden:

NO CHILDREN UNDER 12 UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY PARENTS OR GUARDIANS

That’s part of the story of how we became OUTSIDERS.

PETER AND SHEILA HARTNELL WITH THEIR EIGHT CHILDREN CIRCA 1978 (click to enlarge)

Peter and Sheila Hartnell, my parents now faithfully departed, had a big Roman Catholic family of nine children, of whom eight of us are shown in this fading Charles Lavertu photo, showing John, Maria, Adrian, Sheila, Peter, Gregory, Roxanna, Anthony, Cecilia and  little Justin (in front of Roxanna), photographed in front of our Modernista home.

Second-born son Jerome Henry Hartnell, absent only physically from our hearts, died of a morphine and alcohol overdose at the tender age of 18.

 May Almighty God, ever-merciful, have mercy on his eternal soul.  

Our energetic, talented and hardworking carpenter father Peter George Hartnell was the first born son of our Grandfather Henry Hartnell, a provincial civil servant, and Grandmother Therese Belleau, an elementary school teacher and clothes designer of Wallon American background .

Peter had one brother, Herbert Hartnell who grew up with him in the Hartnell family home on the north side of May Street near Cook.

Herb Hartnell (left, above) was his brother Pete’s best man at his wedding to our lovely devout sweet-tempered mother Sheila Turnbull, and Herb’s wife Zena (right, above) was Sheila’s maid of honour.

Peter and Sheila Hartnell on the porch of the Hartnell’s May Street house

Herb and Zena Hartnell had a large Roman Catholic family of five children of their own, which they raised at the May Street home: Robert, Peter, Janice, Catherine and Margaret.

Our cousin Robert Hartnell is a well-known local surveyor, cousin Peter Hartnell is a deceased cab-driver, cousin Janice Wood (nee Hartnell) is a mother, and still works in real estate, cousin ‘Cathy’ Hartnell is in the provincial civil service and cousin’Peggy’ is married to Rusty Ruggles, and is a mother and homemaker in Shawnigan Lake.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to my favourite cousin Peggy Ruggles (nee Margaret Hartnell), who shares with Roxanna, John, Maria and I  her enthusiasm for our fascinating Hartnell family history, and for lending me a copy of a wonderful book of Hartnell family history, The Lives of William Hartnell, by Susan Bryant Dakin, published by Stanford University Press in Stanford California, in 1949.

That fascinating Hartnell family history book is an entree into a lost world when California was not yet part of the United States of America, but rather an outpost of  the Franciscan missionary network on the Camino Real, including huge missionary church buildings, vast cattle ranches, the first vineyards, vast produce farms and orchards.

The dying Spanish Empire, with its costly military forts and presidios, its rapacious and decadent monarchs, had pretensions over Baja and Alta California, but they soon lost all of it to the growing energy and determination of secularist republican anti-Spanish anti-clerical Mexico, and later, to the growing empire of the Gringos.

PETER HARTNELL, A CARPENTER-DESIGNER FOLLOWING JESUS, SAINT JOSEPH AND ANTONI GAUDI

Peter George Hartnell, a native-born Catholic Victorian of Lancastrian-Wallon background  was born in 1917 in Victoria to Therese Hartnell (nee Belleau) and Henry Hartnell.

‘Pete’ Hartnell or ‘PGH’ as he sometimes designated himself,  was a self-employed carpenter-contractor who built St. Rose of Lima Parish Church in Sooke with hired help from the local native labourers on the reserve, and St. Rose parishoner Larry Rumsby wiring the church.

So it is very sad for me to witness the apparently philistine lack of respect for our built Catholic architectural heritage in the Diocese of Victoria, with the present bishop selling this quaint little old church in Sooke that my father built with the native workers, to replace it with a larger  bland suburban structure surrounded by a huge surface parking lot, that will very likely be indistinguishable from thousands of others like it, all across North America.

Peter Hartnell built many houses around the Greater Victoria area under his Modernage Builders moniker, including the designing and building of two very unusual ‘Modernista’ homes for us in Rockland that have already attracted the attention of scholarly architectural preservationists.

These were highly controversial at the time, being unfamiliar ‘Modernista’ masterpieces in the leafy Rockland neighbourhood.

Our Papa Peter had the steady loving support of his strong, long-suffering and hardworking wife, a Lancastrian – Glaswegian Catholic Quebecer, my dear Mother, Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull).

 May they both rest in the Peace of Our Lord.

The photo above shows this second Hartnell family home at 1346 Rockland Avenue, built circa 1967 –  1970.

 Just west  of this intriguing reinforced concrete Modernista family home, on the same north side of Rockland Avenue, is the first of the pair, on the corner of 907 Royal Terrace and Rockland Avenue, built circa 1957 – 58.

This property was just sold by realtor April Prinz in a depressed Victoria real estate market for an unrelated party.

The reinforced concrete house shown in this gallery of photos, from the bottom of our CCC drawers, so to speak, is now owned by one of my dear younger brothers, 5th son John Hartnell, far left.

WHERE ARE WE NOW, WHRE ARE WE GOING?…

HOPEFULLY, ALL TO THE GLORY OF THE CREATOR!

Three of us Hartnell brothers live on Rockland Avenue now: John, Anthony and myself, all at different locations.

John Hartnell lives at 1346 Rockland, and is a self-employed marble – and tilesetter, like Anthony occasionally, and as were our dearly departed brothers Jerome and Adrian, all of us Hartnell boys having learned the rudiments of the ancient art from our carpenter father Peter.

John Hartnell’s two lovely intelligent sweet daughters Martene and Alena, are students with part-time jobs and live with their mother Lisa McKay in Fairfield.

I still do occasional tile jobs with my dear brother John, most recently grouting a balcony deck and front porch steps that he set, for a private residence near the Jubilee Hospital.

John Hartnell’s very rare home, designed in its entirety by our naturally talented designer father Peter, has three big parabolic windows two storeys high on its Rockland Avenue south facade, influenced by that great mystic Catalan Catholic genius from Barcelona, Catalunya, the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi.

Post – war concrete buildings that Peter and Sheila Hartnell saw while on holidays in Barcelona, Catalunya, Espania, Roma, Italia, and Mexico, D. F., Mexico influenced the final design of our second home on Rockland, which was first mocked up in a cardboard model made by my father.

Peter Hartnell then got a structural engineer to work out the requirements for the stresses, rebar, etc. needed to pass inspectors before the concrete was finally poured at 1346 Rockland.

I vividly remember working on the tear-down phase of that pour, when the concrete is hard enough to start removing all the wood used to hold it in place.

After that, all the nails have to be removed, and the wood scraped of its still green concrete residue, so that it can be recycled, and used on the next phase of the pours.

That is hard, dirty work, but well worth learning for anyone who reveres Saint Joseph the Worker, Saint Francis of Assisi and Gaudi.

ALPHA-OMEGA HEART OF THE CATALAN CROSS OF ANTONI GAUDI 

By ‘Goyo de la Rosa’ (nom d’artiste of Gregory Hartnell)

Our dear brother Anthony Hartnell is the husband of the former  Senorita Maria Arom, daughter of  Senor Gabriel Arom, the eminent architect of Palma, Majorca, Espana, and her very refined and sweet mother, Senora Arom, both very devout conservative Catholics in that great medieval Catalan city.

Mrs. Maria Hartnell, the quiet wife of my dear brother Anthony Hartnell, is a charming and lovely Catholic Catalan lady who was trained as an antique paintings and porcelain conservator in Palma, who became the mother of their only son, my dear nephew Antonio.

Maria attends Mass with Anthony and Antonio at Saint Patrick’s Parish Church in Oak Bay, which I am sure must please her parents Senor y Senora Arom, and my dear wife Dawn Elizabeth Keough Hartnell and I sometimes attend the same Mass in the John Di Castri-designed Roman Catholic Christian church on Haultain.

Anthony Hartnell now manages the family business which we all inherited from our parents, the Queen Victoria at 655 Douglas Street, built by our parents in 1965-1966, now co-owning it with Cecilia, Justin and Roxanna, after John, Maria and I sold our shares back to our brothers and sisters.

I am very grateful, as are our other brothers and sisters, I am quite sure, that our dear sister Maria Cabrera (nee Hartnell) co-managed the family business on all of our behalf with our dear brother Anthony Hartnell for 13 years before Maria sold her her shares and moved to Mexico to buy property with Julio Cabrera.

Our dear sister Cecilia Dishaw (nee Hartnell) now lives with her husband Paul Dishaw in suburban Saanich, father of their children Maximillian and Sophia who are both arts students.

Paul Dishaw is a very talented and terribly underrated fanstastic realist painter trained in Vienna under Hutter, and in northern Italy, and a set painter for Pacific Opera Victoria.

Our dear devout Catholic cheerful sister Roxanna and our very artistic intellectual quiet scholarly brother Justin live close by on Arnold and Carnsew streets, and are both single.

I am very grateful to the Merciful Creator for gifting us with our dear parents, all of my dear brothers and sisters, and all of our wonderful extended Hartnell-Keough-Orcutt family in London Ontario, Summerside Prince Edward Island, and Calgary Alberta, related to my dear wife, Dawn Elizabeth Keough.

I am also very grateful to be able to pray and worship with our dear mother’s younger brother, my dear Uncle Brian Turnbull, together with his very beautiful and vivacious wife, our dear Aunt Lorraine (nee Edwards), when my dear wife Dawn and I find them in the last pew at Saint Patrick’s Church in Oak Bay.

Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Brian Turnbull have their own extended family of four children, our Turnbull cousins Cathy, Tom, John and Michael, with grandchildren of their own, and it is always very wonderful to visit with all of them.

Our Hartnell family traces its ancestry back to William Petty Hartnell, a Lancastrian Protestant who settled in Monterey, converted to Catholicism and married Maria Teresa de la Guerra y Noriega, of an old Spanish Californio family in Santa Barbara.

 So it is very interesting to me that my dear niece Helena Chontos is now living in Los Angeles, California and her mother, my sister Maria Teresa  Hartnell Cabrera, who married the very passionate and talented blind Mexican musician Julio Cabrera, both now live in Mascota, Jalisco, Mexico, about an hour and a half from Puerto Vallarta.

Helena’s brother and our nephew Alexander Chontos is studying philosophy at the University of Victoria, and lives with their father Nikos Chontos in Fairfield.

The next big event in our family history will be our tenth wedding anniversary, which my dear wife Dawn Elizabeth Keough Hartnell and I will celebrate this December 29, 2011.

After that, we all look forward to attending Helena’s impending marriage to her beau Eddie in Mexico next May.

PLEASE VOTE FOR GREGORY HARTNELL FOR OAK BAY COUNCIL

‘CASA ARNEL’

1357 ROCKLAND AVENUE,

VICTORIA MOSAIC ARTS:

JOE TILI + ‘GOYO DE LA ROSA’

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One Response to Gregory Paul Michael Hartnell, ‘Rockland Outsider’ Candidate for Oak Bay Council, celebrates his 59th birthday Monday, October 24, 2011. First born son of Sheila Mary Margaret Hartnell (nee Turnbull) of Valleyfield, Quebec + Peter George Hartnell of Victoria. Conceived in Mexico, born October 24, 1952, Saint Joseph’s Hospital… baptised ‘Gregory Paul’, confirmed ‘Michael’ by Bishop Hill, Saint Andrew’s Cathedral… HARTNELL-TURNBULL FAMILY HISTORY

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